“I’m nervous,” he said.
I knew then. I had wondered before, but in that moment, I just knew. Still, I forced myself to ask, “About what?”
“Nervous about going on the trip with you.”
In the long pause that followed, I felt the ground shift beneath me. There is a sixth sense about these sort of things when they happen, the dread of knowing the inevitable has arrived and there is nothing, absolutely nothing, you can do to prevent it or even push it off for later. I had despaired, especially in the last few days, what had been wrong and suddenly all of his recent shiftiness and hesitation and avoidance made more sense.
So I took a deep breath and made myself ask, “Why?”